The European Union is going to invest €873 million in key European energy infrastructure projects as part of its efforts to transition to a clean and modern economy. This move also feeds into the project of the Energy Union, a priority of the Juncker Commission, which is now slowly becoming a reality on the ground. One of the most important elements is adapting the European infrastructure to the future energy needs and properly interconnected electricity lines and pipelines are the core of a fully integrated European energy market anchored on the principle of solidarity. Thus, boosting investment in electricity and gas projects shows, according to the European Commission, the bloc’s readiness to “make the European energy system more competitive that will ultimately deliver cheaper and secure energy to all European consumers”.
The EU investment in these projects comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European support program for trans-European infrastructure. Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, commented that cooperation and solidarity pay off, as the Energy Union is becoming a reality with a tangible impact in real life when he stressed that “these are important projects with major cross-border benefits and by implementing them we strengthen energy resilience of EU member states. The Connecting Europe Facility has yet again shown tremendous added value in the modernization of the European economy.”
The new funding is going to focus on 17 projects out of which 8 are focused on the electricity sector and 4 relate to construction works. 13 projects are linked to research and studies. In the electricity sector, a grant of €578 million that is the largest Connecting Europe Facility-Energy grant ever awarded will be key in the construction of the Biscay Gulf France-Spain interconnection. The electricity projects will integrate the Iberian Peninsula into the internal electricity market. This project also incorporates technologically innovative solutions regarding the design of the electricity line, which is fully underground.